Arman Davtyan, now serving time in the Nubarashen Criminal Penitentary, has written to Hetq, asking that we publish a letter of his asking for help. What follows is an abridged translation of his letter.
I write to you and request that you publish my letter since I can no longer continue my struggle for justice through official channels or according to the laws of the country.
I have petitioned a number of Armenian officials, including the president, general prosecutor, president of the parliament, the chief of police, and the UN office in Armenia, but have yet received any positive response.
Early on the morning of June 14, 2012, police in civilian clothes broke into my apartment without showing any identity papers or the reason for their untimely visit.
They collected our telephones and didn’t allow me to call my parents. They forcibly removed me and took me to the Mashtots office of Internal Affairs. There I was beaten and the fingers of my left hand were broken in an attempt to force me to confess to a theft that I didn’t commit.
I was presented with a confession supposedly written by my wife and friend Artur and told that this was basis enough for me to be sent to court on criminal charges. I said I didn’t believe that the letter was written by my wife.
The fact that my wife was being tortured in the other room, and that I could hear her cries, forced me to tell the police officer in charge that I would sign any confession, just so long as they stopped persecuting my wife.
He told me to write that I and my friend Garik had committed a number of thefts. I did as he said even though I have no friend named Garik.
They held me and my wife and Artur at the police station for one whole day.
On June 15, the same police official had us brought into his office and told us that he would release my wife and my friend Artur on condition that I agree to nine thefts committed by myself and Arman Sargsyan, another friend of mine who was arrested.
In the end, the number of alleged thefts increased to 16 without any physical evidence.
In fact, the police official instructed my friend Artur to plant loudspeakers in my apartment so that cops could find them during their search.
On June 15, the police released the others as promised and told me that I would receive a three year sentence but would be released from the court after being sentenced due to a general amnesty.
I was taken to prison where I remain till today. After coming here I began a hunger strike and sent the entire story to the general prosecutor.
Officials at the Mashtots Internal Affairs office have continuously tried to convince me to withdraw all my petitions and complaints.
I can only thank God that Judge V. Rshtouni is hearing my case for I have heard that he is an honourable man who believes in legal justice.
I have been found guilty on four occasions in the past and have paid for those crimes by spending the best years of my youth in jail.
My ailing mother waits for my release and I don’t want to be deprived the chance of seeing her for a crime that I have not committed.
I have irrefutable proof of my innocence and am ready to present it during my court case.
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